- Which line of interpretation does the rest of Scripture as a whole tend to favor?
31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.” 32 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33 In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! 34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (NIVLk. 13:31-35)
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace (the death or “cutting off” of the Messiah)—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you (the cause of Jerusalem’s destruction in 70AD was their rejection of Jesus as Messiah).” (NIVLk. 19:41-44).
20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written (in Dan. 9:26-27). 23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (NIVLk. 21:20-24)
1Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet (Israel) to tell them to come, but they refused to come. 4 “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ 5 “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8 “Then he said to his servants (the apostles and his other disciples in Israel), ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ (the Gentiles – the “covenant with many”) 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes (i.e. robes not washed in the blood of the Lamb, cf. Rev. 7:14). 12 ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. 13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” (NIVMt. 22:1-14)
30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me (cf. Dan. 9;26 – “no judgment in him,” no condemnation, no crime; He was spotless). 31 But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here. (NKJVJn. 14:30-31)
33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation. 37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (NIV Mt. 23:33-39)
26 As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then “ ‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ’ (Hos. 10:8)31 For if men do these things when the tree is green (time of abundance and fruitfulness, i.e. Jesus’ ministsry), what will happen when it is dry?” (i.e. when the crisis comes) (NIV Lk. 23:26-31)
14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.” 15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! 16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. 17 Your sons hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you. 18 Lift up your eyes and look around; all your sons gather and come to you. As surely as I live,” declares the Lord, “you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride. 19 “Though you were ruined and made desolate, and your land laid waste, now you will be too small for your people, and those who devoured you will be far away. 20 The children born during your bereavement (i.e. the period when Jerusalem was “trampled underfoot by the Gentiles” during the “times of the Gentils” Lk. 21:24) will yet say in your hearing, ‘This place is too small for us; give us more space to live in.’ 21 Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who bore me these? I was bereaved and barren; I was exiled and rejected. Who brought these up? I was left all alone, but these—where have they come from?’ ” (cf. Rev. 7:9-13)22 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders. (NIVIs. 49:14-22)
11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied (NIV note – Or (with Masoretic Text) He will see the result of the suffering of his soul / and be satisfied); by his knowledge (NIV note – Or by knowledge of him) my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will give him a portion (portion=inheritance, cf. e.g. Deut. 32:9, Josh. 17:14, 19:9, 1 Chron. 16:18, Is. 61:7) among the great (NIV note – Or many; Heb. rab – many; i.e. I will give Him an inheritance among the many nations, cf. Eph. 1:18) and he will divide (i.e. share) the spoils with the strong (NIV note – Or numerous), because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many (Heb. rab), and made intercession for the transgressors (NIV Is. 53:11-12) .1 “Sing, O barren woman (Zion, cf. Is. 54:11 – “the afflicted city”), you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children (Heb. bane – “sons” – YLT “sons” – i.e. Israel the firstborn son (saved Jews) and other redeemed “sons” from the nations) of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the Lord. 2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. 3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. (NIV Is. 53:11-54:3)
- 1 He has set his foundation on the holy mountain; 2 the Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. 3Glorious things are said of you, O city of God: 4 “I will record Rahaband Babylon among those who acknowledge me— Philistia too, and Tyre, along with Cush— and will say, ‘This one was born in Zion.’ ” 5 Indeed, of Zion it will be said, “This one and that one were born in her, and the Most High himself will establish her.” 6The Lord will write in the register of the peoples: “This one was born in Zion.” 7As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains (fountains of life, cf. Ps. 36:9) are in you.” (NIVPsalm 87)
- 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints (NIV Eph. 1:18)
- 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory (NIV Rom. 8:16-17)
- 13 And you also (Gentiles) were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. (NIV Eph. 1:13-14)
25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery (the gap between the two 3.5 year halves was part of the mystery, that the Gentiles could be included in the “Jubilee” of the 70 weeks), brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number (ESV/NKJV – “fullness”) of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” (NIV Rom. 11:25-27)
25 Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings (e.g. Is. 49, 53-54; Dan. 9:27) by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him— 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen. (NIV Rom. 16:25-27)
4 …the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. (NIVEph. 3:4-6)
6 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (NIVAc. 1:6-7)
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (NIV Lk. 24:45-47)
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men (i.e. both Jew and Gentile), because all sinned— 13 for before the law was given, sin was in the world (sin a universal problem, so all nations need to be redeemed). But sin is not taken into account when there is no law (therefore, God gave Israel the Law). 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many (nations) died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many (nations)! (NIVRom. 15:12-15)
- I favor the second line of interpretation for several reasons: 1) Option two does not require an abrupt (and to me seemingly arbitrary) switch from the work of the Messiah in Dan. 9:25-26a, to work of the Anti-Christ, in Dan. 9:26b-9:27. 2) Daniel 9:27’s mention of a “strong” or “firm” covenant doesn’t seem to correspond naturally with a false peace treaty that is quickly broken just 3.5 years later; 3) Though desolate implies destruction, equally painful is the fact that Jerusalem has been emptied of her sons. 4) The covenant is made with “many” (not just Israel); 5) The number of Scriptures that can easily be called on in support of option 2, in contrast to option 1; 6) There is not a single place in the New Testament where a false peace treaty with Israel is explicitly mentioned as a major sign of the last generation; 7) Theodotion’s translation, which pre-dates the Masoretic Text by several centuries. Whether Theodotion was translating the Hebrew text directly, or whether he was simply revising the Old Greek LXX to bring it more in line with the text tradition on which the later Masoretic text was based; either way it is clear that he interpreted the Hebrew consonants differently than the Masorites (as “with,” not “people”). All of this in my mind lends great credibility to the emendation (reconstruction based on the original consonants) above, which in turn lends more weight to option 2; 8) Option two provides for me a more satisfying explanation for the gap between the two 3.5 year segments (one that is backed-up by many Scriptures and accords with God’s heart of mercy): the gospel going forth to the nations during Jerusalem’s bereavement and desolation.